TONY Mowbray refused to rule out any more business in the transfer market - but hopes the younger players can force their way into the team and have an impact this season.
The latest products in Middlesbrough’s famous youth system have had a chance to impress in pre-season after being limited to game time in the last campaign.
But with the Football League now allowing clubs to name seven substitutes again, young Luke Williams, Adam Reach, Cameron Park and others may get more of an opportunity to stake a claim for a first team place.
All three got 45 minutes under their belt in last night’s 2-2 draw with Pools at Victoria Park, with 19-year-old Reach particularly impressing in the first half and scoring Boro’s well-taken second goal.
Mowbray, who has been busy in the transfer market securing the signatures of Jonathan Woodgate, Grant Leadbitter, Emmanuel Ledesma and George Friend, who made his debut last night, said he would be interested in signing more if the right player became available - but urged the young players to earn themselves a place in the squad.
“I want to try and encourage some of the younger players,” he said after last night’s match.
“Adam Reach scored a good goal tonight, Park had some good chances to score and the keeper made some good saves and Luke Williams is a real good talent, so they need the encouragement to have an opportunity.
“We have got some good hungry players, Williams, Reach, Park, Andy Halliday, they are all young and should be hungry and want to force their way into the side this year.
“If the right player comes along for the right position I wouldn’t say we are finished but at the same time I am not actively making calls at the moment.”
The academy products weren’t the only players trying to impress Mowbray in last night’s outing.
Brazilian duo Correa, Dudu and Dutchman Castelan, all recommended to the club by Juninho, got 45 minutes of game-time to try and impress,
“The trialists did OK and yet it’s difficult for them,” added Mowbray.
“You are on a plane for 12 or 13 hours and then get told to stick your boots on and go and perform, sometimes it’s difficult.
“They did fine, they kept the ball moving and got a grasp of how we try to play and fitted in well.”
“From my point of view I want to give them a chance to get settled in and learn a little bit about their personality and see how it goes over the next week or so.”
Mowbray made 11 half time changes in last night’s match and said he took a lot of positives.
“Generally I thought we controlled the game pretty well at times and we could have scored a goal or two more, but a lot of credit to them (Pools), they were very competitive and did what they do well,” he said.
Mowbray will field two different teams in friendlies against Carlisle United and York City on Friday and Saturday respectively.
– DOMINIC SHAW